December 13th, 2012
Whether you already have a condo, just bought one or are thinking about getting one, you likely have questions about insurance. Can you get condo insurance? Or is it simply the same as homeowner's insurance? And do you even need it?
Excellent questions all.
First of all, to state the obvious, a condominium is not a house. Therefore, the insurance policy is going to differ. Second, rules and policies differ from complex to complex, so be sure to ask any and all questions to make sure you get the right coverage for your condo.
There are a handful of key differences between condo insurance and homeowners. There are six separate components to homeowner’s insurance. They are as follows: primary dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments to others.
For a condominium, here’s what we mean by those terms:
1) Primary Dwelling: Insurance for the structure of the unit
2) Other Structures: Usually not applicable for a condo
3) Personal Property: Covers the contents of your unit. For example: jewelry, clothing and other keepsakes. Make sure to check your condominium association policy to see what is already covered and what isn’t.
4) Loss of Use: Coverage for in case the dwelling is considered “uninhabitable” due to damage.
5) Personal Liability: This insures that you are covered in case someone is injured or their property is damaged, while on your property.
6) Medical Payments: Covers medical expenses for any injuries from number Personal Liability.
For a homeowner, things are slightly different.
1) Primary Dwelling: Covers entire structure, including all construction materials associated and all permanent elements, i.e. cabinets and bookshelves.
2) Other Structures: Covers sheds, detached garages, well house, and so forth. The insurance is valued at 10% of the cost of the main structure (house).
3) Personal Property: Covers all personal belongings inside at 50% of the main structure’s cost.
4) Loss of Use: Covers the homeowner in case the house is even deemed “uninhabitable”.
5) Personal Liability: Protects homeowner if injuries to someone or someone’s property occurs on their property.
6) Medical Payments: Coverage for injuries and damages that occurred from Personal Liability.
The key differences are in the first three; primary dwelling, other structures, and personal property. The last three are relatively similar. It all comes down to ownership. With a condo, you only own the unit from the drywall inward, which you're insuring, along with the possessions inside.
Now that you are aware of the differences, you know what to look for when shopping for condo insurance. Again, make sure to review the condominium association policy to see what is already covered and what you will need to insure yourself. After that, visit CoverHound to shop around and get the best policy for your budget.